4 political poems about Greece (Philohellene demon-stratum poeia)

Soldier for the daughter Aphrodite

(prayer against Hypnos)

I have heard the critiques of the envious and stupid of Hypnos against her, Aphrodite,
the ciphered clerks spoke against the cipherless,
who swallowed some beer, constituent of pride,
the old clerics now have no orison, nothing to say,
they bite their beards. *Kyrie eleison, kyrie eleison, kyrie ele-eiso-on*
In megalophantasies
I am an anarchist general who will put down the rebellions, the slitherers
kill the rebels who are against her,
Aphrodite, fill my rifle
saddle an elephant
with missiles, poems engraved like on a hungry soul-rock–
I hope she is not another demagogue,
like Ishtar, or Hera,
or Orcan, Modernity, or all the others
of megalophantasies, fed on shadows and Greek fire on bride
The towering clerks on a pillage are drunk of the mercury stolen from the wind-broken compasses of the island Hypnos, they sucked it out
like grease from a quail bone on Christmas Day.
I am weary of thinking critically,
am filled with hatred and courage and want to fight
Murder the envious who sentenced Medusa to rock
I prefer stupidity before caution
Aphrodite may your light
not divide from the glory of your Cycladic body–
I have been a butcher,
So you will walk upon the feathers of thieves
and not on the dirt road
during the day of the devolution,
the last cash-withdrawal sought in the mount Pallas Athena.
I will seek to proof the ceilings against their
mercurial compassion,
with the tar sediment I scraped out from wings
to un-shroud you from filth, cigarette pocks
and throat-hocks of spit they cast upon you
before they hurtled you over the miracle bridge,
near Larissa Station,
like you were some cardboard to be recycled into Peace and Justice.

–((Arturo Desimone 2012, Athens)

*(the poem was published in an alternative revision among poems in the 2015 winter issue of Knot magazine, http://www.knotlitmagazine.com/#!arturo-desimone/cop9 )




what am I doing here

spent the day
pieces of fecal cardboard
with crow-alphabet from Thessallonia
dripping from them
around Asmterdam, right in the impeccable sink of the public health

of the impeccables.

Dutch polis streets, here they enact the duties

They ambivalate

between the shinier-than-thou monuments to Spinoza’s happiness,
where insufficiently exotic bums,

to be kicked out of the Salvation Army, stand with cups of cold

coffee flavored by their cigarette bottoms
drinking without a flinch, the last neolithics deprived

of their tools for creative production,

stare, hope to transform the swill of their fouled cups

from liquid into solid gold,
after they finish drinking, due time
as they cant something of Bach, or the Beatles–
it depends on the culture of the particular bum,

and where he sailed from.





The Salvation Army officers throng nearby, an exclusive club,

Scrupulous, the lieutenants

(they said a language is a dialect with a navy, however

the urchins of the street talk and sing from their arse moriendi

entirely differently than the urchins of the sea, who boast a richer vocabulary.)

iota kappa drachma Igor megalos

gimme gimme
give me a drachma and I will dance my last dance for you
to commemorate Spinoza’s happiness
Give me the drachma with the face of Maria Callas
or the face of Kazantzakis

to printed for the Greeks by Moscow,
and I will fold it into a tank
into a hostage killer airplane,

to soar over the bosoms of dry-island widows.

I will fold it into
a hammer to repay
the peoples’ of Thor for their Viking diplomacy
on Dondertag.



what am I doing
in the midst of these Smyrnean and warmer people,
they as warm as would be expected
as the nations of my relatives, as loud,
as fond of eating, as much chaos in blood, Boist
We are marching against
a gravitational pull
made by human design, iniquity

We march against the financial Rector

of humility meets opulence, with a herring up his ass.

I am not even of Greek Miasmas,

from another chain of islands.
We are marching amidst the monuments

to where Spinoza knew happiness,
In this town there is no single brick
No garden to melancholy

So I am not from here.

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Modern Greek immigrants in Amsterdam demonstrating

The neo-Byzantine immigrants
have gathered
here at the Amsterdam conjuring square
of this city, ancient warren
of the rabbits and moths of ventures, speculations,
liberty. The cold warren’s inhabitants are quick-minded,
on their haunches, lucky as hare’s foot,
the hygiene of rabbits,
the diet of carrots,
the same voting habits.

And the Greeks, are the broken feathered
oil-slick painted pelicans.
They heave inglorious banners,
like on a day of commemorating the Internationale
with their clotheslines
of dirty, Pallas Athenic
loaned slanders heave
their borrowings from the liar
Procopis, they turn
against their honeyed state usurpers
against also the greatest of hares,
the most advanced distributor
of carrots in the knowable,
enlightened and Vermeer-lit world:
Dutch government
financial cuts
to their breathing linen,
their thread, from Ariadne’s
hands, warped round her thighs
into the labyrinth: the Dutch accountants,
are coming to pick up the mess,
the long-armed Amanuensis of the Labor Party
in his suit made of bat-wings recycled
and woven together
bowing servant and token
of the Great Ur-Germanic bitch, Wotana
who speaks in turbid utterances
of blame, subsistence, development,
consensus, technique, compute, accountancy
and other words of the dead and the gods of Amanuensis.
The Carrot of Discord, set by the Dutch hare politico,
does not want to hook at the end
of the thread Ariadne, daughter of desire
planned for the islander Theseus.

The neo-byzantines shout and confer
Like dirty pigeons,
the floors of their apartments,
the shoe-soles catching the sad
netherworld drip of their feet,
their tapestries,
the flooring under their hearts
is all made of newspaper,
the newspapers with precisely
the kind of stories used
to catch the bird crap
issuing from a prima donna
a parakeet
who wings
and chants to paralytic but debt-responsible owners.

The neo-byzantines, subtropical pelicans
shivering in the cold,
Long noses and dark beards,
girls who grew up faced with the statues of Aphrodite
and karyatids
( familiarity
in Holland is TheotokosMother-of-god merciful)
the statues Cavafis nodded to but walked by
hardly looking, whistling, another flesh on his mind.
Round sunglasses
imitate the eyeglass spectacles on the
semite faces of famous and precious
dead leftists, Canon
I remind them
Atonio Gramsci was an Albanian,
like the despised underlings of Greek ghettos.
(Your hunchback mother, too, was once an Albanian.)

Heads opaqued,
against the sunlit cold
against the bits of news, harsh ciphers
floating from the sky without virgins ascending
into the nostril of the Labor party chief accountant
who serves a wretched octopus of Germany.

We find a Greek travel agency
selling guided tours and banquets
to the fish-restaurants and bordellos of Naxos
for the Dutch tour groups.
We throw stinking octopus, bought
from the freezer.
We can’t torch anything here
nothing lights here
Instead, we butter it,
its neo-Gothic architecture
with our misspelled slanders
in Dutch,
and Latin alphabets
the Os melt into Omegas
An olive-skinned, white armed activist girl
curves like
Artemis’ bow
wears the libertarian-anarchist
bicycle sunglasses:
two Omegas
reflecting the end
of the Bank of the Future
whose interest rates are longed hooked poles
on which we hang the clotheslines, full

of our dirty laundry,
it takes no tourism Delphi to know we hang
the Alpha Beta Gamma
Delta, Epsilon, Zeta Etha

Zero Zero
Theta, Iota Kappa
Mu Nu
I got it all wrong
jumbled up
with an anarchist
apple of discord
Kosmos Polis in Xaos

Our tarred linen of breath
bears tawdry graffito
Latinized argot with Kappa
of the hawk’s
violence and the crocodile’s funerary scenes,
now droop from the gates of a Greek tourism office,

in Amsterdam.
The families of native onlookers, sitting next to the
buildings they or their clan relatives own,
their aunts with whom they first exercised trade
and negotiations at the age of 8,
their fathers who brought them
when they were 7 to open a savings account
at their most trusted bank of their social pillar,
unlike our fathers who brought us, their sons
to our first whore when we reached 14, to become men.

The families, of the unsmiling well-fed
well educated
by grammar school, read the gymnasium language
of Homer and of ever reasonable
Plato of the State
Socrates of the Citizens’ morality scoreboards

Torch that scoreboard!

The family sips their collective lukewarm coffees, ask for the check blanco

We scream the illiterate

archaic screams

of Immodern Byzantines,
at our newly built–
(albeit with coffee stained gloves):
Modern Byzantium
of our dirty rags,
tear salt removes the stains made by the wine.
There is still bright water
that refuses passage under the bridge,
the mediterranean
superstitions the Northern water got infected with,
brainwashed sans detergents
from our corrupting influence,
export of tears, (more tears than in all the youthful harems)
the last undermined resources of salt.

And gasoline, unlit, hardens
forming tiny little gems on our sweaters,
like the little gems
a child finds in the sand when looking closely, in excavations
against the great nothingness made by men.


Long before my grandparents went on quarantine
expulsion boat from Magna Graecia
to Argentina,
before the leather flocks
of German ogre-toe feet
went South to give a good kicking
to mow the lawn and kick up toadstools,
Saloniki tambourines fell
on no German ear.

The tambourines ringed,
migrated around
into my ear

my ear is fond of music and of poetry
and is Deaf
to the hammering of
Thor’s and Hjalmar’s creditors
I am deaf to their words
competency, subsistence, development,
I make ceramic ears to their words
I reap cornfields
for the ears of the deaf inheritors.
We will not worship what they made.


by Arturo Desimone, Athens Jan 2012


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